I want to start using birth control but I don't want to tell my parents I'm having sex. Where/how can I get it without them finding out? – Bethany*
It can be difficult for teens to talk to their parents about being sexually active. But surprisingly, many parents are receptive to discussing sex and birth control, especially when you show them that you want to act responsibly. Still, if you can't talk to your folks, there is a lot you can do.
In order to find out your birth control options and get sexual-health care, your first step should be to set up an appointment with your general doctor or gynecologist. Or make an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood (or student health center if your school has one). Don't be afraid to discuss birth control or sex with your doctor. Thanks to doctor-patient confidentiality, your doc can't talk to your parents about these topics without your permission.
The Pill is covered by most health insurance, but that may not be an easy option if you are on your parents' plan. Luckily, the Pill is available for only $15 to $50 a month, depending on type.
Just remember that if you do go on the Pill, it's not a free pass to unprotected sex. You should still make sure your partner always wears a condom to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDS). Fortunately, many Planned Parenthoods and student centers have condoms for either next-to-nothing or free.
If you've already had sex, make sure to be tested for STDs — people often don't realize that they are infected.